Translated by J.
With his palm raised high up in the air, Chu WuQing’s eyes were filled with sadness and restrained agony as complex emotions washed away the soft glow in his pupils.
He could not help but close his eyes when the loud smack sounded. His slightly parted lips trembled as an unbearable pain filled his heart.
By missing the most critical period of the child’s development, he had left the child in ignorance, causing him to say and do such absurd things. The smack might have landed on the child’s face, but the pain was felt by his heart.
Two streams of tears rolled down the side of his cheeks, but the eyes behind his tightly shut lids were already wearing a mirthful smile. Chu WuQing could hardly restrain the urge to applaud his own acting skills.
His face had perfectly showcased the love and compassion a father had for his child, but was forced to discipline the child for the sake of his future welfare. Chu YunZhi would be deeply moved by his act and become ever more dependent on him.
Meanwhile, Chu YunShu would wake up in such fury, to the point where he would be howling with expletives. A loving father forced to slap his child but could not bear the sight of it? It sounded so ludicrous that not even the dead would be fooled. However, even if Chu YunShu was angered to the point of spitting blood, he could not take back anything that his second personality had done. Never again would he be able to sit on his high pedestal and flaunt his superiority over the mortal realms.
What now? Chu WuQing wanted to laugh so badly that he almost cried. His lips trembled as he almost lost control over his emotions.
Chu WuQing’s hand might have landed heavily, but he did not use any spells or spiritual energy. A slap like that, however heavy, would mean nothing to a cultivator. What was important was the shame that it brought to the one whose face was slapped.
For someone with as much spiritual energy as Chu YunZhi, the slap felt more like a soft caress. Only the fingertips left a slight pressure on his lips, making him part his mouth and lick them.
It was a delectable taste that he wanted to swallow into his stomach.
The inexperienced youth did not comprehend what was transpiring between them, so he continued his licking out of instinct.
Baffled by the licking, Chu WuQing opened his eyes. The smile had not yet left his tear-stained eyes when he fixed his glistening gaze upon Chu YunZhi.
“Father,” Chu YunZhi uttered in the manner of a small animal, “it’s so strange, why do I want to lick you?”
Chu WuQing paused for a moment, then shook his head in defeat. From a young age, the child had grown up amongst spiritual beasts rather than cultivators, how could anyone expect him to know human etiquette? How could he know that fathers and sons should keep their distance?
He owed him this much and should not demand it of him. Afterall, filial love was the basic instinct of every living creature.
Chu WuQing gently smiled, “Maybe it is your way of showing affection? Like cats licking their kittens. Cultivators cannot do this to one another, but since you are my child, you can do whatever you feel like. It was my fault that I lost you in the first place and did not instruct you in proper manners when you grew up. I cannot expect you to show the same courtesy as other cultivators.”
“That’s not it.” Chu YunZhi shook his head. He raised Chu WuQing’s hand and brought it to his cheek where he could feel the most pain, then gently replied, “It’s my honour to be disciplined by Father. A’Zhi wants to be instructed by father. A’Zhi never blamed father.” He led Chu WuQing’s hand slowly downward. When Chu WuQing’s cool fingertips brushed over his scorching lips, he licked them like a kitten tickling the fingers with its tongue.
Scarlet lips on snowy-white fingers.
Chu WuQing’s heart fluttered for reasons he did not understand. He wanted to yank his hand away, but instead, he saw the almost imperceptible gleam in Chu YunZhi’s eyes, looking so very attentive, as if Chu WuQing’s every move easily tugged at his heartstrings. It was so very tempting to impose even more outrageous acts on him.
Chu WuQing’s hand was gradually led further down by Chu YunZhi’s grasp, brushing over his sharp stern chin, then his bobbing Adam’s apple. He could feel the blood pulsing in Chu YunZhi’s arteries.
“Father, can you feel that? You are holding my neck, the most vulnerable part of me. If you added just the slightest pressure…” Chu YunZhi’s eyes looked as clear as spring water, but his words were filled with demonic temptation, “Then you can break my neck and stop my breathing. Father, I would give up my life for you, let alone the punishment and discipline I deserve.”
“Father…” Chu YunZhi leaned slightly forward, his heated breath almost enveloping the side of Chu WuQing’s cheek, “Do you want to taste your son’s blood?”
Chu WuQing’s pupils slightly contracted, his heart pounding in his chest while an acute excitement erupted inside his body. Seeing Chu YunZhi’s neck up close, Chu WuQing suddenly developed the urge to devour it.
He wanted to bite through Chu YunZhi’s skin and taste the pulsing blood inside it. He wanted the proud and aloof Son of Heaven to know pain and humiliation.
Leaning slightly forward, Chu WuQing’s muddled brain suddenly felt the air around him turn menacing and cold, as if his whole body had been engulfed by a nightmare.
Chu YunZhi’s voice brushed past his ears like a warm spring breeze, “But there’s a price you must pay, Father, if you take my life…”
The young man’s long fingertips rubbed against the youth’s translucent pale skin, an undercurrent swelling inside his silver pupils, bringing an eerie chill that made them look almost inhuman.
“Then you can never leave me again.”
As a cool, moist tongue licked over the outer-rim of Chu WuQing’s ear, a floral fragrance soaked with carnal Qi invaded his lungs, rousing him with a shudder.
Focusing his gaze, Chu WuQing saw only Chu YunZhi’s innocent face, as if everything he felt earlier was nothing but a hallucination.
“Father, what’s wrong?” Chu YunZhi asked apprehensively, his eyes as pure and innocent as a newborn babe.
Chu WuQing rubbed the centre of his tired brow. He recalled that this was the location of one of the Array Trials, so had he fallen into an illusion array just now?
Before he released his fingers, Chu WuQing felt a pressure on his temples. Chu YunZhi had begun massaging the meridian point under his temples, sending countless refreshing streams of Qi from the pads of his fingers to clear Chu WuQing’s head.
“Father, please meditate here and rest.” Implored Chu YunZhi, sounding worried, “Let me remove the arrays.”
Chu WuQing slightly furrowed his brow as he watched Chu YunZhi walk away, briefly pausing before he spoke, “A’Zhi, come back.”
“Father?” Chu YunZhi asked with a hint of excitement in his voice, “Did you need A’Zhi to do something for you?”
Chu WuQing carefully took in Chu YunZhi’s expression. The young man’s eyes were full of unpretentious expectation and filial love, but Chu WuQing’s mind had not been set at ease.
Though Chu YunShu had no reason to imprison him, however, whether it was the previous life or the present life, Chu YunShu still wanted to kill him and wipe out the entire Chu clan. As for Chu WuQing, Chu YunShu was too arrogant to even spare him a glance.
But there were exceptions to every circumstance. On the off chance that Chu YunShu wanted to change his approach to tormenting the Chu clan, he could threaten his daddy and the entire Chu clan by lowering Chu WuQing’s guard, then luring out his soul and turning him into a puppet. Although this sounded incredible, it was not entirely impossible.
Chu WuQing beckoned Chu YunZhi over, slightly narrowing his eyes as he commanded, “A’Zhi, squat.”
Chu YunZhi obediently squatted down, completely unsuspecting of Chu WuQing’s intentions.
Chu WuQing slowly pulled Chu YunZhi closer by the collar, so close that they could feel each other’s breaths on their faces.
Even so, there were no signs of deceit on Chu YunZhi’s face. Despite his originally haughty countenance and pristine disposition, he looked as docile as a rabbit right now. Everything that crossed Chu YunZhi’s mind could be seen in his eyes, they were so clear that one could see through to the bottom.
Chu YunZhi blushed faintly at the ears as nervousness and anticipation filled his eyes. His thin, attractive lips parted slightly, but were afraid to speak his mind, until he finally mustered enough courage.
“Father, are you … finally willing to feed A’Zhi with your mouth?”
Chu WuQing, “…”
Without a doubt, the one before Chu WuQing was definitely Chu YunZhi. No matter how lowly Chu YunShu had fallen, or to achieve what ends, he would never behave in such an idiotic way.
“I only wanted to remind you that there are illusion arrays about, be careful.”
Slightly hunching his back, Chu YunZhi casually waved his hand and a pavilion rose up from the ground out of nowhere. Inside the pavilion, food filled with spiritual energy was placed on top of a low table. “Father, please wait here while A’Zhi clears the way for you, I’ll be back shortly.”
As Gu Yu watched Chu YunZhi close in on him, an icy gleam fleeted across his slightly narrowed eyes, “You may have fooled the Master, but you won’t fool me.” Only when he mentioned the word ‘Master’ did a softness appear over his cold, stern face.
With a chilly expression, Chu YunZhi did not even blink as he goaded with a tone full of derision, “You’re just a little thing who had barely reached Foundation Establishment. With your laughable skills, do you really think you’re worthy of guarding and following Father?”
“Ha.” Gu Yu laughed, his hands not stopping for even a moment as he removed the arrays around him. In what was barely the blink of an eye, he had pushed forward by another ten li. When Gu Yu bent over and brushed his fingers over the ground, another big patch of arrays became broken. He turned back to look at Chu YunZhi as he replied, “Only Master may speak of my worth. As for you, don’t expect to leave here alive.”
The broken runes did not shatter, but instead focused into streams of murderous intent and flew aggressively towards Chu YunZhi.
“The Law of Runes?” A slight change finally stirred in Chu YunZhi’s eyes, “It’s such a pity… that you’ll meet your demise right here before you get to grow up. Now for Father’s sake, I’ll teach you what it’s like to be crushed by real power, so you may die in peace.”
As soon as he had spoken the word ‘peace’, a beautiful, effervescent melody reverberated all around them. Despite being a gentle, calming tune, Gu Yu’s arrays and restriction seals shattered wherever they were touched by the music. The murderous intent dissipated like a mountain collapsing in on itself, until they were gone without a trace.
Gu Yu’s expression became serious. He gathered the spiritual energy around his body and focused them at his fingertips. Countless golden runes appeared in the sky with every trace of his fingers. It seemed that he had created an array in mid-air out of nothing.
Pressing down with his hand, a righteous aura erupted from Gu Yu’s body and transformed into countless golden runes. Piercing through the earth, they stopped the ground from collapsing further.
“So this is what you call ‘crushed’?”
A derisive smile appeared on the corner of Chu YunZhi’s lips. He turned over his palms and a guqin was conjured before him. A slow, ethereal melody drifted from the guqin’s strings as he casually strummed it with his fingers. Suddenly, a devastating power descended from the sky and attacked Gu Yu’s solidified runes like floodwater.
Gu Yu’s expression drastically changed. A golden light flashed in his hand and a rune brush appeared within it. As he waved the brush in defence, countless higher order runes focused into a long golden dragon to form a Greater Array of Slaughter.
When the two energies collided, they should have created a thunderous roar that filled the heavens and left the laws of this realm broken and shattered. Instead, a sudden silence fell around them. The energy created by their duel seemed to have been wiped off into oblivion.
All was silent, like death.
For the first time in his life, a sense of danger appeared within Gu Yu. He glanced towards Chu YunZhi and saw that there was not a hint of panic on his face. As they locked eyes, Chu YunZhi revealed a cryptic smile that was ominous to the extreme.
Feeling a tightening of his heart, Gu Yu instinctively looked up. He was just in time to see an enormous array suddenly appearing in the air, then coming down over his head.
The terrifying aura coming from the array was not from the mortal realm, it was clearly a divine artifact.
Immediately retrieving an Instant Teleportation Talisman, Gu Yu wanted to escape with Chu WuQing. But in an instant, his gaze was overcome with anger when he realised that he could not use his handmade higher order talisman at all.
Like a Law of Heaven, the space under the array had unexpectedly formed a restriction seal, preventing all flight and talismans from use. A high-level restriction seal like this instantly made all of Gu Yu’s preparations fall through. It was difficult for him to even walk.
Gu Yu put away the talisman and attempted to leave, but as he took a single step forward, the earth beneath his raised leg began to collapse and liquify into lava. Since Gu Yu could not think of another way to escape, he could only withdraw his leg and stay put.
The only thing he was left to do was to feel his heart bleed from the pain of his powerlessness.
“Killing you will make Father unhappy. And I will never do anything to displease Father.” Chu YunZhi’s mirthful voice sounded before Gu Yu, “You can live out the rest of your life alone in this array. Stay here until you go mad and vanish into nothingness.”
As the array swiftly descended over Gu Yu, his face turned ashen. It had suddenly dawned on him that Chu YunZhi had planned this from the very beginning. In order to trap him, Chu YunZhi used the enormous energy created by their duel to activate a Fourth Rank array of the highest order.
Gu Yu’s eyes were filled with agony as fury and indignation erupted from within, “No one, not a single person in this world can separate me from my Master’s side!”
As his palms swiftly twirled, countless spells descended downwards from his fingertips and wrapped around his legs in layers.
Gu Yu had no time to think about the rivers of fire and perilous spells before him while he madly sprinted away. As runes and spells burst open under him, the lava unexpectedly stopped an inch away from his body, as if an invisible protection shield had formed around him. Not even the divine artifact could stand in his way.
Layers of thunderclouds roiled and churned above him while lightning crackled within. It seemed as if two bright eyes that had gleaned all the secrets of the universe suddenly focused their gaze on Gu Yu.
But how could a mere Foundation Establishment cultivator challenge a divine array?
As the invisible force pressed down over Gu Yu’s body, his shoulders slouched as if an enormous weight was placed upon them. His body became weighed down and sank into the ground. The scorching lava surrounded him, cannibalising his protection shield until only an inch remained.
Slightly trembling with bloodshot eyes, Gu Yu crawled forward on his hands and knees in an attempt to pull himself up from the lava. Such a sorry and unrefined posture was not one he had used since the Master took him away from the Gu clan.
He would forever remember that day, when a man in white robes brought him endless hope. Such a gorgeous face, framed by raven-black hair 1 that fell on his white robes. With his eyes full of compassion, he seemed like an ethereal god from the Ninth Heaven. A god who freed him from the endless dark swamp of pain and torment that had trapped him.
“I’m here to take you away to become the greatest runemaster ever.”
Gu Yu gave his all for him and for those words. He spent countless tireless days and sleepless nights studying arrays. Even when his body had weakened, his spirit remained aglow. Even when he knew that his Master was only using him, that all of his Master’s compassion and pity were mere illusions, that his Master wanted only a vicious and obedient dog.
But that was enough. If the Master was willing to use him, then he could stay forever by his side and remain in his close proximity.
Thus, on the battlefields of the various small realms, he fought to the death over and over, then defied the odds each time. Because he knew that, to Chu WuQing, life and death were of no consequence, only victory and defeat mattered. If he was defeated, he would no longer hold any value to his Master and countless others would rush in to replace him.
From that day onward, Gu Yu had understood that his life, his path and his everything, only existed for the single purpose of following the one named Chu WuQing. Gu Yu demanded of himself that his every move and expression be the very embodiment of grace and perfection, for the sole reason of fulfilling the image of the ‘greatest Runemaster ever’ that his Master had spoken of.
But now, Gu Yu was forced to crawl on the ground using the one posture he was most unwilling to remember, one that he had forcefully carved from his memory – that of a drowning dog.
“Master, Master…” Gu Yu looked up at the pavilion ten li away, a distance that would have previously taken him only an instant to bridge, but now seemed separated by a natural chasm. He wanted to gaze upon Chu WuQing’s silhouette, but Chu YunZhi had erected an illusory restriction array around the pavilion, so Gu Yu could not see anything at all.
As the divine array pressed Gu Yu lower into the ground, the outside world that he could see with his eyes grew smaller.
“NO!” Gu Yu suddenly widened his furious, bloodshot eyes, “Chu YunZhi, did you think I could be stopped by a divine artifact?”
As Gu Yu’s spell casting became faster, his spiritual energy flowed away at an increasing speed. Though his withered meridians began to show cracks, his sea of consciousness grew ever clearer. Without needing to draw them up, countless runes began to appear, forming layers of protection around him.
After spitting out another mouthful of blood, Gu Yu half ran and half crawled towards the edge of the array.
“Looks like you had another breakthrough?” A look of surprise flashed across Chu YunZhi’s eyes. He had known that Gu Yu was an array prodigy, but he did not expect this level of genius. Not only did Gu Yu comprehend the Law of Runes without any assistance, he could even break through under these circumstances.
If Gu Yu had only touched the surface of the Laws earlier, he was now rightfully inside their doors. It could be said that such a thing had never happened in the history of the cultivation world, where a mere Foundation Establishment cultivator could master a Law of the Greater Path.
If it was not due to the fact that this was a hidden realm restricted by the Immortal’s Abode, Gu Yu’s breakthrough from the arrays would definitely trigger a change in the spiritual energy between Heaven and Earth, which would in turn rebuild his corporeal body, lifting him up to the Golden Core stage, or perhaps even higher.
But unfortunately, this was the abode of the Golden Immortal, and its rules had stipulated that even if Gu Yu’s spirit had reached the Soul Transformation stage, it would still be unable to trigger any transformations.
As Chu YunZhi watched on with cool detachment, he saw Gu Yu suddenly speed up. But when he became less than ten zhang away from the edge of the array, a fierce crackle of lightning suddenly struck down from the waiting thunderclouds.
Immediately forming an array in defence, an array plate with Gu Yu’s life-bound energy appeared over his head, which held the very essence of Gu Yu’s Dao. But how could a mere mortal defy the power of a divine artifact? His array plate was instantly shattered, but it had blocked the fatal blow.
However, the strike had thrown Gu Yu’s body back by ten li, and once again, he landed in the centre of the array, his soul heavily injured.
Not waiting for Gu Yu to get up for another attack, the divine array swiftly descended until it was barely a person’s height above the ground.
Trembling, Gu Yu was utterly and completely overcome with despair. He opened his mouth to call out to Chu WuQing, to cry out ‘Master’ once more. It was a word he had uttered countless times before, but only thick blood clots filled his mouth, silencing his feeble voice entirely.
Before the divine array finally closed in on the ground, Gu Yu saw Chu YunZhi transform into a green smoke and flew towards Chu WuQing featherlight and unaffected.
Once Chu YunZhi had left the divine array, he gently cleared his throat, then muttered as he slightly cocked his head to the side, “Although that baddie was plotting to harm Father, I don’t think Father will believe me. What should I do?”
He revealed a soft smile that was as gentle as a spring breeze, then raised his palm and viciously struck at his own chest. In an instant, Chu YunZhi shuddered as his face turned ashen. Gently wiping away the trace of blood that seeped from his mouth, Chu YunZhi turned and sprinted towards the pavilion.
Inside the pavilion, the commotion from the duel had drawn Chu WuQing’s attention, but due to the illusion array, he could only see that Chu YunZhi and Gu Yu had inadvertently triggered and fallen inside an array of the highest order.
It just so happened that the array had formed a restriction seal, locking Chu WuQing inside the pavilion. There was absolutely nothing he could have done, but when the restriction seal vanished and everything became as they were…
Chu YunZhi stumbled as he ran from the smoke and dived straight into Chu WuQing’s arms, then nuzzled around Chu WuQing’s chest like a small animal.
Despite being astounded by Chu YunZhi’s childish act, but thinking that Chu YunZhi did not know any better, Chu WuQing only perceived a strong sense of longing coming from Chu YunZhi. As they had parted for no more than an hour, Chu WuQing chuckled as he patted Chu YunZhi’s back, “What happened? Where’s Gu Yu?”
“A’Zhi had almost died, but Father would only ask after that array prodigy Gu Yu!” Chu YunZhi looked up woefully as his eyes filled with tears. A mouthful of blood escaped his lips as he pouted, “Father doesn’t love A’Zhi after all.”
“How could that be?” Chu WuQing secretly checked Gu Yu’s lifesoul jade token in his storage bag. It was still intact, which meant Gu Yu was still alive. Once Lin Yi had inherited the Immortal’s Abode, Gu Yu would be automatically teleported out from the abode, so he had no reason to worry.
But the fact that Chu YunZhi was in tears was a shock to Chu WuQing. His vulnerable appearance did not contain a single trace of the commanding presence from the brutal Demon Lord that he would become one day.
Chu WuQing could not help himself but secretly activate an Image Talisman. He wanted to record Chu YunZhi’s crying, childish ways so he could deeply humiliate Chu YunShu by replaying it in public someday.
“It’s true!” Chu YunZhi felt even more aggrieved, “A’Zhi almost died inside that array. Only the thought of seeing Father had propelled A’Zhi to escape, but Father won’t even cuddle or comfort A’Zhi. What else could it be?”
As Chu YunZhi spoke, Chu WuQing felt the arms around his waist tighten, “Hmph, if Father won’t cuddle A’Zhi, then A’Zhi will just have to cuddle Father.”
“Alright, alright.” Chu WuQing sighed, “It’s all my fault, I apologise, okay?”
Chu YunZhi finally stood up straight, a faint blush appearing over his pale, bloodless face. His height was more than enough for him to gaze down upon Chu WuQing.
Father is so pretty, he’s pretty when I look up at him and pretty when I look down… I don’t want to release him from my arms at all.
But… he could not keep holding on like this. If he persisted, he would walk away empty-handed; but if he retreated, he could move forward. Thus, he had to endure the pain of letting go so he could gain more opportunities to embrace Father in the future.
“Father’s apology is not sincere at all.” Chu YunZhi’s eyes darkened, then sparkled with a quiet gleam, “Unless Father kissed me.”
Why does Chu YunZhi like kissing so much?
Before he could respond, Chu YunZhi held up Chu WuQing’s face and kissed his forehead, not forgetting to communicate with his mind, “While I fought for my life in the array, I had a new breakthrough in understanding. I realised that I am my Father’s son and Father won’t ever abandon me, isn’t that right? When Father isn’t willing to take the initiative, I shall be the one to proactively fight for my rightful interests.”
What the heck? When other people had breakthroughs on the edge of death, they were all breakthroughs in Dao comprehension, which in turn propelled their cultivation and spiritual powers to the next level. But Chu YunZhi just became more clingy and comprehended this instead?
Taking the initiative to humiliate Chu YunZhi gave Chu WuQing great pleasure, but letting Chu YunZhi take this kind of initiative left Chu WuQing feeling slightly uneasy. He felt as if he was being mistreated in some way.
However, the feeling was almost imperceptible, and the pleasure of humiliating Chu YunShu rose on top once more. Chu WuQing forced down his unease, as he knew that the anger alone might kill Chu YunShu if he ever found out his second personality proactively tried to snuggle up and kiss Chu WuQing.
Just imagining Chu YunShu’s fury and agony after waking up gave Chu WuQing immense pleasure.
Chu WuQing’s skin was pale and supple to the extreme and his face was the softest part of his body. Just touching his smooth forehead was enough to make Chu YunZhi unable to tear himself away, then helplessly wanting more. He surreptitiously stuck out the tip of his tongue, wanting to lick Chu WuQing’s tender, alabaster skin.
But when the tip of his bashful tongue brushed imperceptibly over Chu WuQing’s skin, Chu YunZhi swiftly withdrew it before Chu WuQing had noticed the act. A seductive fragrance lingered on his tongue, making his heart flutter. He felt even his understanding of the Path became unsteady.
Shrouded by his searing emotions, Chu YunZhi’s instinctive impulses immediately broke through the floodgates of his intellect. As his eyes darkened, he pressed a clumsy, fumbled kiss on Chu WuQing’s lips.
Chu WuQing widened his eyes as a sensation of eerie disparity spread inside his heart. He felt that this was wrong, but did not know why. He was not afraid of even death, so what else could he be afraid of? It was only kissing another man. And this kind of kissing could humiliate and torment his most hated enemy, fully satisfying his desire for revenge. Since he did not have long to live, the rest of his enemies should suffer with him. But why was it that he could not dismiss that eerie feeling?
Chu WuQing slightly parted his lips in astonishment, but Chu YunZhi took the opportunity to pry open his lips further, thrusting his tongue past Chu WuQing’s teeth.
For some unknown reason, a sense of outrage and embarrassment swelled inside Chu WuQing. But there was so much disparity between their cultivation levels that it was like comparing Heaven and Earth. Furthermore, Chu YunZhi had a tight hold on his waist, if he struggled, it would just seem like he was playing hard to get, offering himself further into Chu YunZhi’s mouth. Chu WuQing wanted to push Chu YunZhi’s invading tongue away, but only managed to deepen their entanglement.
“Chu YunZhi!” Chu WuQing bellowed with his mind. He finally steadied his senses so he could tear himself away from that sweltering, sluggish feeling that had overcome his entire body.
Chu YunZhi’s long eyelashes softly brushed across Chu WuQing’s skin before he finally opened his eyes to take in the image of the person before him. As their breaths mingled, his crystal-clear black pupils seemed stained with tears, carrying a sense of confusion within them.
He did not seem to understand why Father refused his affections and refused to comfort him. With a fluttering of his long lashes, Chu YunZhi pressed the back of Chu WuQing’s head and deepened their kiss. Just as Chu WuQing’s fury was reaching its peak, a warm current entered via his tongue and began to disperse inside his body.
The warm current followed the meridian at the back of Chu WuQing’s tongue and spread around his entire body, washing over all of his meridians as if cleansing his very essence. He felt his body becoming lighter and free of impurities. When the current finally gathered in his Dantian, it left a Dao mark on Chu WuQing’s Foundation Establishment Path.
It was… a trace from the Runes’ Source. Slightly contracting his pupils, Chu WuQing realised that despite not having any natural talent for runes, with this trace of the Runes’ Source, he could cast many higher order arrays!
Chu YunZhi finally parted from Chu WuQing lips with great reluctance. With his cheeks seared in crimson, his glistening eyes sparkled like tiny stars. He whispered carefully, “I acquired this from the array. Since Father won’t feed A’Zhi from his mouth, A’Zhi had no choice but to do so himself.”
Without waiting for Chu WuQing to scold him, Chu YunZhi sharply turned his head with a hmph, “Rest assured Father, A’Zhi won’t do this in front of other people and embarrass the Chu clan. I’d only do it in secret, when Father and I are alone…” He slightly cocked his head to peek at Chu WuQing’s expression. With a sudden anxiousness, he asked, “…Is that okay?”
“Of… of course.” Chu WuQing’s eyes gently curved. So Chu YunZhi’s odd behaviour just now was all due to his obsession with ‘being fed’, as well as to present him with the magical item he acquired from the battle.
Only Chu YunZhi would be so naïve, not knowing what that was. Chu WuQing grew increasingly satisfied with Chu YunZhi as he watched him. He could almost imagine Chu YunShu’s fury and hatred when he woke. Since his second personality had begged for all of this, he would have no excuses for it.
Chu YunZhi’s pupils suddenly dilated with no attempt to disguise the happiness that exuded from them. It was as if he had received the most precious gift in the world, his mind and his senses became completely filled with Chu WuQing.
Since Father had agreed to kisses and cuddles, then would the next step be licking each other’s fur? And the next step after that…? Chu YunZhi’s cheeks burned, his body felt like it was about to be set ablaze. He wanted to grab onto Chu WuQing’s cool fingers to lower his temperature, but as he touched the smooth icy skin, his temperature sweltered further, almost melting him.
Chu YunZhi struggled with all his might to control his heartbeat and force down his restless thoughts. He sputtered, “Father… while the array is shut, let’s try to break through the Level Four trial.”
“Then let’s go.” Chu WuQing knew that though his schemes might have trapped most of the cultivators, they could not be delayed forever. It was inevitable that some of the cultivators who were skilled in predictions would discover his tricks. It was best not to waste any more time.
“I am at Father’s service.” Chu YunZhi stepped in front of Chu WuQing, wanting to remove all of his remaining obstacles. He asked with hesitation before they left, “It’s just that… Gu Yu may have to stay on his level forever. Should we try to save him, Father?”
“Oh?” Chu WuQing chuckled, “I thought you didn’t like him? Weren’t you jealous of him just a moment ago? You seem awfully worried about him now.”
Chu YunZhi revealed a faint smile, not embarrassed at all from being found out. He gloated, “That’s because Father agreed to be affectionate with A’Zhi. So… I can try to tolerate him for a little while. Though he’s weak and annoying, Father needs him.”
Chu WuQing shook his head, “Then let’s go. He’ll be alright. When someone passes the trial and inherits the Immortal’s Abode, all of the other cultivators will be automatically teleported out. Gu Yu’s life is not in danger.”
“Oh, really?” Chu YunZhi gently nodded, looking reassured as he led Chu WuQing towards the waterfall’s exit.
But Father, the divine array exists outside of the rules of the abode, it cannot be controlled by the master of the Immortal’s Abode. I’m afraid Gu Yu, who’s more important to you than I am, will be trapped here forever.
Once the divine array had descended, it no longer blocked Gu Yu’s vision. Instead, it had turned into an invisible shield of light. Sitting inside the array, Gu Yu could see everything happening outside clearly… how Chu YunZhi acted like a spoilt child in front of the Master, then asked if they should save him…
Gu Yu’s eyes grew dim as he watched Chu WuQing leave with Chu YunZhi, until his final shred of hope had been completely severed.
Should I continue living?
Look, your Master had abandoned you. You will never become the greatest Runemaster.
You will forever be trapped inside this array, never being able to see, or touch, the person you worship ever again.
If this is how things will be, why don’t you just die?
Layers of dark fog began to seep from Gu Yu’s body. It was a dark fog that only powerhouse cultivators could see, and only they knew what it represented.
‘The Proud Son of Heaven’ was a term often used to describe those who were particularly gifted. But only those who could actually control the Divine Laws were the real sons of Heaven, they alone were blessed by the heavens. As long as they did not prematurely meet their demise, it was inevitable that they would come true immortals.
However, when a Proud Son of Heaven sank into inescapable despair, the life force inside him would become an aura of death, seeping from his body, turning into a dark fog carrying the Law of Destruction.
“Master…” As his organs withered, Gu Yu’s shrivelled fingers caressed the storage bag that hung from his waist. It had been a gift from Chu WuQing. He stroked it over and over, as if through the bag, he could touch its former owner…
But as it was only a storage bag, his wish remained unfulfilled. Instead, his stroking hastened the darkness that seeped into it, tearing the storage bag apart.
The last trace of Chu WuQing’s presence had vanished.
“NO!” Gu Yu abruptly looked up with bloodshot eyes.
No, never! How could he watch his Master leave him? Wasn’t it merely a divine artefact that separated them? Merely death that stood in his way?
Suddenly, glowing with an intense, icy light inside his eyes, Gu Yu’s hands casted spells with unimaginable speed. Countless arrays instantly appeared around him. Unlike the golden arrays from before, these arrays were almost invisible, like the one he was trapped in, but carrying a terrifying destructive power.
An invisible divine power circulated between the runes. Reaching up with his hand, Gu Yu activated the myriad of arrays. Using the remaining life force from his body, he attacked the divine array that trapped him.
It was the Law of the Path!
As they clashed, not a single crack appeared in the shield of light around the divine array. But as if it had been activated, the light expanded outwards.
The rays of light transformed into sparks and gathered high up in the sky, forming the faint silhouette of a person.
It was only a phantom, but as if the entire Fourth Level abode had met its lord and ruler, arrays ceased to function and all bowed before the phantom’s presence.
“The Law of Runes, it’s the Law of Runes! After 30,000 years, I can finally lay my old eyes upon the Law of Runes once again.” The phantom sighed, “My Dao title is Beixu. I’m a Golden Immortal enlightened by the Path of Runes. Unfortunately, my Dao companion and I met our demise here 10,000 years ago. Only a trace of my soul remains. If you can break through the array that’s been placed here, I will make you my successor disciple.”